The intermodal bike

Multi-modal integration of cycling mobility through product and process innovations in bicycle design

Goals Object of this work is to provide -by means of product and process innovations- an advanced compactable bicycle, making it practical to carry along a bicycle aboard public transportation, easily, safely and for a large number of passengers.
The ultimate goal is a synergic, intermodal integration of public transport and cycling, expanding the share of both modalities in the urban mobility. Drivers Bicycling, very efficient in the short range, but not so on longer distances, could be re-introduced into daily travel to handle the trip s end portions, enhancing the effectiveness of other modalities through an additive effect, re-balancing in a cost-effective way the modal mix in favor of micro-mobility and public transport.
The state of the art doesn¿t allow a collective, pervasive use of the folding bikes in intermodal duty, because of excessive weight and volume when collapsed -often exceeding the baggage limits of city bus and metros- discouraging their use out of practicality and safety on board.
The proposed research aims at providing a solution developing a fully engineered, production-ready, new bike typology, based on an innovative concept for a bike frame already tested on mock-ups and working models. The advantage over the state of the art is an unprecedented compactness (factor 6 over common folders) and low weight (factor 3) obtained combining a collapsible, pre-tensioned space-frame with a modern industrial process centered on the use of contemporary engineering plastics.
The process innovation will also allow low cost, quality control, opening-closing automation, electric power assistance and last, but not least in a design-conscious world, aesthetic value. The work program will develop a new supply-chain, assembling several application-specific know-how modules of mature and well known technologies, all commonly and economically available. Both direct, project-specific, and extended, broadly applicable results are expected.


Unione Europea

Istituzioni coinvolte
Università degli Studi di Firenze, Facoltà di Architettura, Dipartimento di Tecnologie dell'Architettura e Design
Università degli Studi di Firenze, Facoltà di Architettura, Dipartimento di Costruzioni e Restauro

Coordinatore del progetto
prof. F. Tosi (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

Responsabile dell'unità di ricerca di Geomatica
prof. G. Tucci